Recent announcements by some cycling events to reduce the racing age categories has not been on the advice or the recommendations of Cycling South Africa. The decisions are taken by the event organisers themselves, based on the economies of scale.
Many large events have discovered that costs associated with event administration and organisational aspects have skyrocketed and have thus had to look at the sustainability of their events in both the short term and long term. Cycling SA has suggested the use of alternate service providers, where costing is known to be cheaper.
Cycling SA is developing cost-effective solutions to reduce administration costs to events, and we are in the process of testing this new technology. The new technology and processes are designed to keep entry fees static and to promote regular participation. The first phase of this process is Cycling SA’s mobile app and online entry system, which is available to all sanctioned events at a very low cost when compared to similar related systems.
Age category racing is a very important element in our community, and it is how an event is structured that can play an important role in continuing this aspect of our cycling environment. As a national federation, we need to continually explore cost-effective solutions to encourage events to continue to support our veteran and master’s riders, without deriding the competitive environment for providing solutions to events.
Recently, much has been said about the Tsogo Sun Amashova’s decision to remove the age categories. This decision was one that was not taken lightly by the event organisation as they have looked at every aspect to keep the event as a premier event in South Africa and also as KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest event. Cycling SA and KZN Cycling’s only involvement and recommendations have been around the Elite Men’s race (160km) and the Elite Women’s race (106Km) which will provide our Elite women with a clear road to race.